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INDEX OF LEARNING STYLES (ILS)

The Index of Learning Styles is an on-line instrument used to assess preferences on four
dimensions (active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and sequential/global) of a
learning style model formulated by Richard M. Felder and Linda K. Silverman. The
instrument was developed by Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman of North
Carolina State University.

The ILS may be used at no cost for non-commercial purposes by individuals who wish to
determine their own learning style profile and by educators who wish to use it for
teaching, advising, or research. Consultants and companies who wish to use the ILS in
their work may license it from North Carolina State University. (Click below on
"Frequently Asked Questions" for details.)

ILS users should be aware of two important points:

1. The ILS results provide an indication of an individual's learning preferences and


an even better indication of the preference profile of a group of students (e.g. a
class), but they should not be over-interpreted. If someone does not agree with the
ILS assessment of his or her preferences, trust that individual's judgment over the
instrument results.

2. A student's learning style profile provides an indication of possible strengths and


possible tendencies or habits that might lead to difficulty in academic settings.
The profile does not reflect a student's suitability or unsuitability for a particular
subject, discipline, or profession. Labeling students in this way is at best
misleading, and can be destructive if the student uses the label as justification for
a major shift in curriculum or career goals. (A learning style preference also does
not serve as an excuse for a bad grade on the student's last physics test.)

The following items are available for viewing and downloading.

Frequently asked questions. Responses to frequently asked questions about the ILS,
including questions about its origin, reliability and validity, availability for use in
teaching and research, and how businesses may license it.

ILS questionnaire. A 44-item questionnaire that can be submitted and automatically


scored on the Web.

Descriptions of the learning styles. A four-page handout that briefly explains the
instrument results.

Descriptions and validation studies of the ILS.


(1) "Applications, Reliability, and Validity of the Index of Learning Styles," by R.
Felder and J. Spurlin.
(2) "A Contribution to Validation of Score Meaning for Felder-Soloman's Index of

http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSpage.html
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Learning Styles," by M. Zywno.
(3) "A Study of the Reliability and Validity of the Felder-Soloman Index of Learning
Styles," by T. Litzinger, S. Lee, J. Wise, and R. Felder.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to access these files. It can be downloaded free from
www.adobe.com.

Peer review of the Index of Learning Styles in MERLOT (Multimedia Educational


Resource for Learning and Online Teaching).

"Learning and Teaching Styles in Engineering Education," Engr. Education, 78(7),


674-681 (1988). The article that originally defined the Felder-Silverman model and
identified teaching practices that should meet the needs of students with the full spectrum
of styles. The paper is preceded by a 2002 preface that states and explains changes in the
model that have been made since 1988.

"Reaching the Second Tier: Learning and Teaching Styles in College Science
Education," J. College Science Teaching, 23(5), 286-290 (1993). An article that explains
the learning style preferences and their implications for teaching.

Additional information and references on learning styles.

Richard Felder's home page. Links to Dr. Felder's education-related papers, columns in
Chemical Engineering Education, handouts for students, and information about
workshops.

http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSpage.html
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